TUCSON, Ariz. - The adoptive mother of four children told Pima County Sheriffs Deputies she locked them up at night because she could not handle them.
Carol and Benito Gutierrez are each facing three counts of child abuse and domestic violence after one of the children; a twelve-year-old appeared at a nearby Family Dollar store in conditions that made a clerk suspicious enough to follow the child home. There, deputies say they found a house set up to lock the children in their rooms.
As detectives requested a search warrant for the house they told the judge, “Carol was interviewed and stated she could not handle the children, because, they are menaces, by stealing and eating all the food, so, she locks them in their rooms.”
Court documents also say the Gutierrez knew smoke detectors did not work in two of the bedrooms and acknowledged that would increase the danger to children if they were locked in when a fire broke out.